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Slow-roast pears with orange and aniseed

By allowing the pears to stand for a few minutes before serving, they cool slightly and the flavours develop further

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14 JANUARY 2010

Ingredients (Serves 4)

  • 4 ripe pears
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 2 large oranges
  • 2 tbsp light brown sugar
  • 3 star anise
  • 50g/2oz unsalted butter
  • Double cream, crème fraîche or yoghurt to serve

Method

Preheat the oven to 180°C, 350°F, Gas 4. Peel, halve lengthways and core the pears. Place in a small, shallow roasting tin and sprinkle over the lemon juice. Using a sharp knife, cut the top and bottom off the oranges, then slice off the rind, taking away as much of the white pith as possible. Cut each orange into 4 thick slices, remove any seeds and carefully mix into the pears.

Sprinkle over the sugar, add the star anise and dot with the butter. Bake in the preheated oven for 20 minutes, basting occasionally, then carefully turn the fruit over and continue to cook for a further 20 minutes, basting occasionally. Leave to stand for 10 minutes before discarding the star anise and serving.

The pears are best served warm with the juices spooned over and accompanied by double cream, crème fraîche or natural yoghurt.

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